Navy SEAL Team 4 Cmdr. Job W. Price, 42, of Pottstown, Pa., was found dead on Saturday while supporting “stability operations” in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan. U.S. military officials are reporting Price died of non-combat related injuries and suspect it was yet another case of military suicide. The death is still being investigated.
Commander Price was from Virginia Beach, Va.-based SEAL Team 4 which at times is burdened with the dangerous task of training local Afghan police to stave off the Taliban in remote parts of Afghanistan. Price is survived by a wife and a daughter.
Capt. Robert Smith, Commander of Naval Special Warfare Group 2, which manages all Virginia-based Navy SEAL teams, released the following statement on Sunday:
“The Naval Special Warfare family is deeply saddened by the loss of our teammate. We extend our condolences, thoughts and prayers to the family, friends, and NSW community during this time of grieving. As we mourn the loss and honor the memory of our fallen teammate, those he served with will continue to carry out the mission.”
According to a Veterans Affairs report published this past spring more than 6,500 active duty military suicides have occurred since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. For every service member who dies in battle a staggering 25 veterans die of self inflicted wounds.
More American service members have killed themselves in the first 6 months of 2012 than in the first 6 months of any of the previous 11 years. Army data suggests soldiers with multiple combat tours are at a greater risk of committing suicide, although a substantial proportion of Army suicides are committed by soldiers who never deployed.
While only 1 percent of Americans have served in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, veterans of these conflicts represent a whopping 20 percent of all suicides in the United States.